The Ukrainian Armed Forces are withdrawing American Abrams tanks from the front line due to the threat of attacks by Russian drones, AР News reports.

American officials cited by AP, say the US will work with the Ukraine to reset tactics, including more effective use of the equipment in combined arms attacks.

At a cost of about $10 million each, the US sent 31 Abrams tanks to Ukraine last January.

They came after Kyiv had lobbied hard for them, seeing them as a means of breaking through Russian defenses. However, since drones now proliferate the battlefield, they’ve come to be seen as mostly overweight duds – five tanks have already been lost in Russian attacks.

The use of drones has changed the situation on the battlefield, making it more difficult for Ukraine to defend tanks that are quickly detected by hunter-killer drones.


The proliferation of drones on the Ukrainian battlefield means “there isn’t open ground that you can just drive across without fear of detection,” a senior US defense official told AP.

Kyrylo Budanov, head of the Defense Ministry's Main Intelligence Directorate (HUR), said that Ukraine would use the Abrams tanks only for well-planned, breakthrough operations.

“They need to be used specifically for very specific, well-thought-out operations, because if they are thrown to the front line, they will not survive on the battlefield for very long. They need to be used in breakthrough operations, but very well prepared,” he said.

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In an April 20 article, The New York Times, citing Col. Markus Reisner, an Austrian military trainer who closely follows how weapons are being used in the war in the Russo-Ukrainian War, wrote that over the past two months, Russian drones have disabled five Abrams tanks, with another three moderately damaged since the tanks arrival at the front lines at the beginning of the year.

The drones that are now being used against tanks in Ukraine are also growing more and more accurate, it reported.

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